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HMH approves $2 million project to remodel Progressive Care Unit

At the Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) Board of Trustees meeting, the board approved a $2 million building project to remodel and reorganize HMH’s Progressive Care Unit (PCU) in order to make the rooms private. The PCU includes some of the few remaining semi-private rooms at the hospital.

“Our patients deserve private rooms that allow for optimal rest and healing as well as space for visitors and personal belongings,” said Steve White, Assistant Vice President of Operations. “This project will relocate 16 beds to another area of the hospital and will be completed by the end of 2020.”

Currently, HMH’s PCU is a transitional floor that cares for medical and surgical patients whose needs are not serious enough for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but are too complex for a regular hospital floor. Today, the department has 34 beds – two are private and 32 are semi-private.

Sharon Wright, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, added that the current PCU and its semi-private rooms also cause disadvantages for caregivers.

“The Progressive Care Unit’s high volume coupled with the small semi-private rooms creates unique challenges for nurses and staff providing care,” Wright said. “This renovation will help improve efficiency and employee morale too.”

Also during the meeting, Dr. Juston Pate, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) President and CEO, was in attendance to present the HMH Board of Trustees with a Philanthropic Award for their investment in the college. At the October HMH Board of Trustees meeting HMH presented a $100,000 donation to support the University Center at ECTC.

“ECTC has long been critical to HMH’s success. The new University Center will help even more HMH team members advance their careers,” said Wright, who also serves as the University Center Campaign Committee co-chair. “HMH is growing rapidly and the only way we can continue to deliver high quality healthcare is to recruit and retain a well-trained workforce.”

In other board news:

Financials
HMH Interim Chief Financial Officer Pam Gallagher presented the financial report for November and December of 2019. In November, HMH reported a net loss of $2.6 million compared to a planned $1.4 million gain. Gallagher attributed the variance in part to decreased inpatient surgical volumes, a continuation from the lower than budgeted October 2019 numbers.

However, December saw favorable outcomes. In December 2019, HMH reported an operating income of $1.1 million during the month, almost twice the budgeted $561,000 income. Gallagher attributed the increase to higher volumes across the healthcare system.

Medical Executive Committee
Dr. John Godfrey, HMH Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, introduced the new 2020 Medical Executive Committee (MEC). The MEC slate of officers include Michael Nethers, M.D., Chief of Staff; Allison Cardin, M.D., Chief-Elect; Joseph Stone, M.D., Chief, Emergency Medicine Department; Karen Brunkhorst, M.D., Chief, Surgery Department; Stewart Couch, M.D., Chief, Radiology Department; Jason Goodman, M.D., Chief, OB/GYN Department; David Yerkes, M.D., Chief, Medicine Department; Mirabelle Reyes, D.O., Chief, Anesthesiology Department; Gwen Godfrey, D.O., Chief, Pathology Department; and Krishnan Challappa, M.D., Chairman, Credentials Committee.

Daisy Award
HMH’s Angie Yates, a registered nurse in HMH’s Progressive Care Unit, recently was named the November honoree for the HMH DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. A co-worker nominated Yates praising her patient-focused care. The co-workers cited an instance when a patient on the floor was dying while her best friend was also being cared for on the floor. Yates helped her patient spend time with her friend and “feel some happiness and comfort.”

Sandy Vaughn, a registered nurse on HMH’s 2 North Tower, received the December DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. She was nominated by a patient family member for the outstanding care she provided to the nominator’s sister-in-law. Vaughn cared for the patient following a recent surgery and “went above and beyond” for the patient and the caregiver despite the large patient volumes.

*Honey Bee Award *
HMH’s Megan Johnson, a patient care assistant in Same Day Surgery, received the Honey Bee Award for November for the compassion and care she provided to a surgical patient. The patient who was facing a second surgery in one week was also struggling with a severe case of head lice. After the doctor suggested they shave the patient’s hair, Johnson mentioned that she was a licensed hair dresser and would like to help. She, along with the help of her nurse, were able to give the patient a short haircut as opposed to shaving her head. The Surgical Services staff also donated funds to purchase the treatment shampoo for the patient at discharge.

Jason Collison, a bed repair specialist in HMH Facilities, received the December 2019 Honey Bee Award. Collison was nominated by HMH Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright. Wright described a time when Collison contacted her to show her an issue with specific HMH beds and described how he was repairing each. Wright noted that she was “inspired by Jason’s understanding of his role in patient safety and patient experience.”

Ambassadors
Three HMH Ambassadors were recognized during the meeting. Arlene Murphy-Karr, a patient registrar at Elizabethtown Diagnostic Imaging (EDI), was nominated by a co-worker. The nomination praised inspiring personality and ability to always leave “a person feeling better than when she found them.”

Amanda Thurman, coordinator of Population Health and Clinic Operations in the HMH Medical Group, was also recognized as an ambassador. A co-worker nominated Thurman, citing her positive attitude toward everyone she encounters. Furthermore, she is always willing to help co-workers despite her large workload.

Lori Gandy, manager of 4 North Tower, was named an ambassador. A patient caregiver and a co-worker nominated Gandy citing her willingness to always help and pitch in where needed. The caregiver described an instance when Gandy gave the patient a shower, even getting in the shower while washing her. She mentioned that while Gandy is a manager, she still thinks of herself as a bedside nurse and “never outgrew the act of performing hands-on care.”

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